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Experts Say We Shouldn't Use The Word Cyclist Anymore Because It's 'Dehumanising'

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Experts Say We Shouldn't Use The Word Cyclist Anymore Because It's 'Dehumanising'

Experts are suggesting that we shouldn't use the word 'cyclist' for fear of 'dehumanising' people who ride bikes.

Righto, that seems perfectly reasonable. Oh, wait - no it doesn't. Let's hear them out, shall we? Here we go.

The study was conducted by researchers based out of the Queensland University of Technology and Monash University in Australia.

They discovered that there was an observable and direct link between the aforementioned dehumanisation of cyclists and acts of aggression against them by other road users.

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There's plenty of 'people who ride bikes' here. Credit: PA
There's plenty of 'people who ride bikes' here. Credit: PA

Professor Narelle Howarth said that the study discovered that more than half of people who don't cycle - a staggering 55 percent - think that those who do are 'not completely human'.

That's a study of 442 people from the Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland areas of Oz.

Jesus. Sure, we all get a bit annoyed when a cyclist on the pavement rings the bell instead of going on the road where they belong, but 'not completely human' seems a bit far.

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Included in the survey was a 'dehumanisation trait scale', featuring options like 'I feel like cyclists are mechanic' and 'I feel like cyclists aren't sophisticated'.

With that in mind, QUT's Professor Howarth suggests that we get rid of the word cyclist altogether and instead use the moniker 'people who ride bikes'.

A 'person who rides a bike' is still a human. Credit: PA
A 'person who rides a bike' is still a human. Credit: PA

Howarth is also a Director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety in Queensland and she, like many others, thinks that it is important and necessary for drivers to view cyclists as real human beings.

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Aye, she's not wrong there.

Is it really to do with the name we're using though? Is it not more about some non-cycling people being arseholes? That's a counter-study for another day.

Either way, Howarth told Daily Mail Australia: "If we used the term people on bikes, instead of cyclists, we're giving a term that is more human-like and less like a species.

"We need to spread the idea that those people [cyclists] could be any of us. There is need to grow a culture of mutual respect for people on bikes."

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Obviously, that's not the only plan she has to make cycling more driver-friendly. Changing the name would be great and all, but separating cars and bikes altogether is a better and more expedient idea.

She continued: "Infrastructure is paramount. The best thing would be not to have to share the road."

Some countries in Europe are way ahead on cycle lanes. Credit: PA
Some countries in Europe are way ahead on cycle lanes. Credit: PA

Given the results of the study, it certainly would.

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According to the findings, one in five drivers deliberately blocks cyclists on the road. One in ten admitted to using their car to cut off a cyclist.

The online study also found that drivers admitted that they had shouted and even thrown things at cyclists.

Chill the fuck out, Australia. Seriously.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, travel, Weird, Australia

Tom Wood
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